The Midcounties Co-operative has brought out its biggest ever retail campaign to drive sales for its new Your Co-op Travel and Carrick Travel brands.
The ‘Bringing Sunshine Back’ campaign aims to generate bookings for the rest of 2021 and for 2022 by tapping into demand for families to spend time together after months apart due to the Covid-19 pandemic and for couples who want to enjoy a break after missing out on a holiday last year.
The campaign follows a surge in bookings after the group’s 71 Your Co-op and seven Carrick Travel shops reopened on April 12. Bookings last week were 250% up versus the previous week and holidays for late summer 2021 accounted for 43% of bookings, up 21% from the week before.
All branches are featuring campaign artwork, which include slogans such as ‘Screens off. Trunks on.’, ‘Chores off. Canaries on’ and ‘Laptops off. Lapland on’ to inspire clients to get away from work and home life to go on holiday.
The campaign’s messaging has been put together in response to customer feedback that safety and reassurance is the number one priority for booking in the current market.
The messages aim to generate confidence that travelling with the group is secure, as part of a large financially protected group, as well as good value and flexible. There are low deposit offers, flexible payments, free kids’ places, free cancellations, and cash refunds within ten days for packages booked with the group’s own tour operator as part of its Co-op Holidays Promise.
In a first for the Society, two divisions of Midcounties – pharmacy and travel – have joined forces to launch a dedicated ‘travel healthcare’ service which gives clients extra health support when they travel. Customers booking with Your Co-op Travel are now offered access to a UK NHS registered online doctor during their holiday for £9.99 for society members and £14.99 for non members and also receive 10% off a range of Your Co-op Pharmacy products online, including sunscreen, masks, sanitiser, and travel sickness medication. The website also offers videos of Dr Hilary Jones on healthcare topics and discounted travel vaccinations.
The campaign is being promoted on paid search and social media as well as through public relations, email campaigns, door-drops and direct mail, radio and outdoor advertising, and campaigns with tour operator partners. Holidaymakers are encouraged to visit or contact their local agency branch or book through the virtual call centre or online at the revamped cooptravel.co.uk website.
Sara Dunham, chief officer, travel and leisure for The Midcounties Co-operative’s travel division, said: “Our research has shown us that, whilst value is still important to holidaymakers post-pandemic, safety, health, flexibility, and the reassurance of booking with a financially secure business and a trusted brand, such as Your Co-op, is more crucial than ever.
“The Midcounties Co-operative is fully committed to its travel division and, for this campaign, we have utilised the strengths and expertise of the wider society’s diverse businesses to turbo-charge Your Co-op Travel.”
Dunham said optimism among clients had increased about a summer holiday abroad this year since the Global Travel Taskforce report, with couples leading the way and opting for luxury escapes after months of lockdown, while there was also rising demand for UK cruises.
She added: “We’re seeing a growing trend for ‘seacations’ around the UK, with regular cruisers and new-to-cruise customers, alike, taking advantage of the raft of cruise lines bringing ships to the UK for the summer. The ships themselves are proving to be a major draw as customers get to experience the luxury accommodation, dining and entertainment onboard these spectacular ships that would usually be located in far-flung destinations, involving a flight to reach them.”
She said summer 2022 bookings remained strong, with families making up 44% of bookings last week. The most popular destinations are Tenerife, Majorca, Dalaman and Antalya in Turkey and Lanzarote.
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